Traps and Pitfalls—Unspecific Reactions in Metabolic Engineering of Sesquiterpenoid Pathways

Maximilian Frey
2020 Molecules  
The characterization of plant enzymes by expression in prokaryotic and eukaryotic (yeast and plants) heterologous hosts has widely been used in recent decades to elucidate metabolic pathways in plant secondary metabolism. Yeast and plant systems provide the cellular environment of a eukaryotic cell and the subcellular compartmentalization necessary to facilitate enzyme function. The expression of candidate genes in these cell systems and the identification of the resulting products guide the
more » ... oducts guide the way for the identification of enzymes with new functions. However, in many cases, the detected compounds are not the direct enzyme products but are caused by unspecific subsequent reactions. Even if the mechanisms for these unspecific reactions are in many cases widely reported, there is a lack of overview of potential reactions that may occur to provide a guideline for researchers working on the characterization of new enzymes. Here, an across-the-board summary of rearrangement reactions of sesquiterpenes in metabolic pathway engineering is presented. The different kinds of unspecific reactions as well as their chemical and cellular background are explained and strategies how to spot and how to avoid these unspecific reactions are given. Also, a systematic approach of classification of unspecific reactions is introduced. It is hoped that this mini-review will stimulate a discussion on how to systematically classify unspecific reactions in metabolic engineering and to expand this approach to other classes of plant secondary metabolites.
doi:10.3390/molecules25081935 pmid:32331245 fatcat:wzon5pl3jna3vf3bpew4lkiyaq